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Mania and Shopping


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Umm...

I'm manic and I know it. I lie to my pdoc about it so he'll keep me on antidepressants (that's probably another post... but for now I won't go there). One of the more pressing results of my mania is my spending. It's out of control. I spend money, well, like it's water. I don't even think about it. Sometimes I do. But mostly I don't. And when someone pisses me off, my spending is out of control.

For those 2 people who know me, my mom and I have joint accounts. So she knows how much I spend. Whenever she says "Don't use X,Y,Z credit card", I do. Just to fuck with her. I know that she'll pay it because she doesn't want to ruin her credit. Last night, she got pissed because she found out I spent $300 on art supplies (SFW? I have a job now...) and she was like "You have to pay it!"

I guess I need to start saving money for, well, my future and to move out of this hellhole (I live with my parents and it sucks). But I have a HUGE problem with self-control. I don't get depressed much, I just go shopping. Not good behavior, but I guess I don't know what to do as an alternative...

Any words? You can go off on me and tell me I'm irresponsible. I know it. I'm lucky I'm not out on the fucking street with nothing. I guess I'm just wondering how I can authentically get some help. BTW, my pdoc kind of sucks, I don't really trust him, and I don't have a tdoc.

Jade

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Hey baby,

Lessee...you know, my first thought was that you need to give up your cards etc. because you can't control yourself.

But then I read again, and changed my mind. You have waaaay too much control, and you're using it very effectively. You've got pdoc in your back pocket, telling him whatever it takes to keep you on the meds you want. You've got mom in your back pocket. You can act out and spend, knowing she'll wipe your bum to save her credit rating.

Is there anyone there that you're totally honest with? If not, I suggest you go find someone. You're sitting in a warm bath, but the water's going to get cold soon. As you're seeing, there's no comfort in the life you have--just moments of satisfaction as you manipulate pdoc and mom. You're accountable to no one except yourself, and you're a pretty lax taskmaster (g).

As you say here, you could pretty much keep this train running indefinitely. So it's you who is going to have to make the tough decision to become accountable.

I don't mean to be judgmental, only objective. You've got stewards in your life, but you're too old to rely on them to make you be a good girl. And I know all about immaturity, being a fervent practitioner myself, so I'm not going to give you a lecture on "growing up."

I guess I'm saying that you can go on fooling everyone (except yourself). And if you don't have the self-control to monitor yourself, and mom and pdoc pose no threat, then what about either telling the truth to pdoc or finding another one, and pulling yourself out of your comfort zone?

I suspect you don't want to relinquish control to your mom. But whether it's a new pdoc or whoever, you have to find someone who will hold you accountable.

If we weren't whackjobs, I'd give you some line about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, by cracky! and straightening out. But I know it isn't always that easy. Admitting your problem is a big step, Jade baby. Now I think you have to find someone who will help you become an accountable adult.

xo

lily

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Lying to your gp, no pdoc, no tdoc, running up debts you can't pay....

So, what are you doing to help yourself? Why do you think you are you creating this train wreck?

a.m.

A.M.,

I hope just admitting it is a first step. A small step. I'm not 100% sure why I've created this situation. A lot of insecurity and obvious unhappiness. A lack of willingness to "feel" anything - i.e. I've found this way that I don't have to feel depressed, and I like it (even though it is totally self destructive). I don't have a tdoc, well, it's a long story, but because my pdoc insists on trying to be both. And he doesn't do a great job at it. Whenever I've mentioned going to someone for therapy, he's freaked out (well, not literally) and acts pouty.

Lily... I am totally honest while on CB. And with about two of my friends IRL. And I suppose by honest, you also mean forthcoming. I know I play a LOT of control games. And I know I need to stop. I guess now I'll just try to take it one little step at a time. And I guess I could start by being forthcoming with my shitty pdoc...

Jade

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Ok, I can understand how putting things off can end up being rewarding by avoiding action now, and then later creating a rush through having to meet a deadline with tremendous effort.

I think think that you will have a better insight into why you are doing this. Avoiding the meds to keep a mania rolling is appealing, but you know there is going to be a crash and hell to pay. Are you spending and avoiding help to rebel or hurt someone else?

best,

a.m.

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I don't have a tdoc, well, it's a long story, but because my pdoc insists on trying to be both. And he doesn't do a great job at it. Whenever I've mentioned going to someone for therapy, he's freaked out (well, not literally) and acts pouty...And I guess I could start by being forthcoming with my shitty pdoc...

I have a better idea. Drop the shitty pdoc. Pouty? Freakouts? No, no, no. You the paying customer get to have the freak-outs and act pouty.

No excuses, Jadebaby! I'm on yer arse. Go find a decent pdoc and get thee a tdoc! A good tdoc will call you on your BS. Go, now.

lily

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my mom kept her mania rolling for several years on ADs. it didn't benefit her at all. now with a credit rating worse than hell and in danger of losing her house due to back taxes, she just wishes she had had the sense to be an adult about her life. and she's almost 50.

is it possible to take back some of the things you've bought? sometimes people buy things on impulse, regain control, and take things back.

yes, you are the paying customer, and when it comes to your mental health treatment there are choices you have to make. you can choose to roll the way you are, making others (enablers) pay the price for your actions, or be a grown woman who can say Enough Is Enough.

you can't live with your parents forever, and you don't want to. you don't want your future to be one of depending on others. mania is a state of helplessness, just like depression. and just like drug abusers, sometimes manic people have the tendancy to manipulate situations.

make sure you get the treatment you need. be upfront with your pdoc about what you're going through, get on better meds, and look for a pdoc and tdoc. there is no reason why you have to pay for someone's ego problem.

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Get new docs and fast. To get better therapy and maybe even better meds. Then get thee to credit counseling. Life is funny and it can change really fast so before you seriously mess with yours and Moms monies get some help. It can spiral WAY out of control and it would be really sad if financially the two of you were wrecked. You have to focus I know how fun it is to spend during a mania but when you come down...eek.

Start calling...

lilie

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I got high on anti-depressants.

I spent like a nut.

I crashed and burned and it hurt like hell...like hell, I'm telling you.

And the fall out lives on to this day and the crashes occurred, well, one was over a year ago and the other was nine months ago. If I could go back in time, I would stop, I would get a new doctor, I would do what the doctor said, I would quit the damned meds that made me high and I would take my APs like I do now.

Pardon me and I am speaking purely for myself here, but if it helps you in any way, I will be happy...

Fuck the spending I did...just fuck it...none of the shit I bought was worth it....and you know what? I even bought a car I didn't need! Yeah, I bought a CAR that I had to unload after I crashed out from my mania into a nasty depression! Fuck the sweaters I bought, how many sweaters did I buy in summertime? Beautiful sweaters. Fuck them. And the expensive jeans and the gorgeous pens and leatherbound notebooks that I so loved and never wrote a word in, the calendars and planners for all the fantastic things I was going to do...yes! Fuck them all! Spending while manic is pure idiocy and it goes up in flames just like all the other fantastical stuff that has no point, all the meaningless chatter of the mind that goes NOWHERE and ends up in flames when the music stops, the wonderment goes away, the depression hits, the bills come due and all that stuff just does not matter anymore.

not not not not not not not not not not not not not not

worth

it

I pray you get the help you need. I've been there. It so hurts when it's over. I hope you're okay.

Take care,

~Cat

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Thanks everyone for all of your responses.

I think I am starting to understand that I am going to get myself in serious trouble, if I haven't already, through my "habits". I also realize I need to get my pdoc/tdoc situation straight. Now this may sound like a silly question, and a little off topic, but how should I go about finding a new pdoc? I'm not sure if I'm ready to just leave my old/current one, he's actually not as bad as I make him out to be... he's just slightly out there and I am not fully comfortable revealing all of my inner-most secrets to a wacky man (or any man). I guess I should just go to him and be honest, tell him about the shopping shit and the mania. I guess the problem is that I like the mania, it's so much better than being depressed. Even if there is no shopping involved.

I gave my mom all my credit cards and asked her to just keep them and not ask why. She took them and is hiding them somewhere. She called me a shopoholic with problems (real nice), I basically ignored her. Of course, I learned from the best. She's a totally unmedicated bipolar bitch. I'll never admit to her what's really going on.

Jade

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Every Month near my period I get crazy highs and lows. And Buying things makes me feel better.

Lunch time I stopped by Macy's had a whole bunch of clothes in my hand and then said to my self. No........You don't need anymore clothes. (my closet is overflowing).

So I put everything back. But my mistake was to keep walking into the mall where I found a cute boutique. I saw a shiny red pleated skirt and then a matching top. I had 2 skirts 3 tops and at least 4 dresses! I bought them all. And on the way out (I came through Macy's) I bought a black dress that wraps around. Ugh!!!!!!!

I end up taking money out of my savings to cover it. Because i have Bill Pay and I am trying to save. ;)

I know what I am doing is wrong but when I get nutty like this its such a high!!!

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Every Month near my period I get crazy highs and lows. And Buying things makes me feel better.

Lunch time I stopped by Macy's had a whole bunch of clothes in my hand and then said to my self. No........You don't need anymore clothes. (my closet is overflowing).

So I put everything back. But my mistake was to keep walking into the mall where I found a cute boutique. I saw a shiny red pleated skirt and then a matching top. I had 2 skirts 3 tops and at least 4 dresses! I bought them all. And on the way out (I came through Macy's) I bought a black dress that wraps around. Ugh!!!!!!!

I end up taking money out of my savings to cover it. Because i have Bill Pay and I am trying to save. ;)

I know what I am doing is wrong but when I get nutty like this its such a high!!!

Latin Girl,

Wow, you summed up exactly how I feel when I go shopping. It is such a high when you find something that looks cute or something fun. ARGH. I know it's going to be difficult for me to give up on the shopping, but unless I want to live here until age 40, I have to stop!

Jade

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That shopping thing, I do it with practically everything - I'll fill my cart with groceries, spend two or three hours doing so... then I'll go back and put everything where it belongs. haha.

Anyway, I had a big problem with the credit cards. I spent about $3000 of money I didn't (and still don't) really have. I just applied for one with a 0% APR on balance transfers so I have a chance on paying it off. That was MONTHS AND MONTHS ago.

When you can't completely open up to a pdoc or whomever, these people are human, too, and understand this. So, at your next visit, you could say, hey there Mr. pDoc, I haven't been completely honest with you on our last meetings, and I think it may be just a minor incompatibility issue. I think you're awesome at your job (blah blah blah) anyway, could you refer me to a different pdoc that I might be able to fit better with?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have bi-polar and when Im manic...I tend to spend alot of money....I just try not to go shoppin when im like that...But then again I want to spend money when im depressed too..To make me feel better....So its a no win situation with me...

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  • 9 months later...

Hmmm.......

When my hypomania first showed up....I bought a house that I really couldn't afford. Then I came down hard and did not unpack for months. The neighbors did not know I existed. Then after ECT,

I went back up and shopped to decorate the house...new furniture, paintings, expensive knick knacks. Had a house-warming...knocked on all the neighbors doors to meet them! Then I went down

hard again. Lost my job and new house. Now I'm unable to work, homeless

(staying with a friend), my belongings in storage. It sucks, sucks, sucks!!! I don't want to be hypomanic again... but I wonder, if it came, would I immediately do whatever needed to be done to

shut it down? GOD, I HOPE SO!

Rhonda

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The good news is you sound pretty self-aware about what you are doing wrong. In my opinion, you need to get some assistance from people who can help you. First, tell your mom you are manic and hurting her with your spending. If you don't want to tell her you are manic, say you are trying to get your spending under control, and you realize that you are abusing her trust and her money. Because you are. I know it sounds harsh, but there it is. Bills, debts, money in general...it can seriously screw with people's lives. It's bad enough to do it to yourself--to do it to someone else is almost unforgivable. So stop. Tell your mom to drop you from her joint accounts. Immediately. If you need a credit card in case of emergencies or something, get your own, in only your name. Screw yourself over, not your mom. If you can't do that (and it's almost impossible these days to not be able to get a credit card), then don't get one. Get yourself off of her cards. As soon as you can. Make a deal with her: she won't get anything joint with you, and she will NOT bail you out in any way.

Second: Tell your pdoc. If you don't trust him, get another one. And FAST. I wonder, though, if you don't trust him because you know he will "stop" you from doing these bad things. But he's there to finess this sort of stuff: keep you out of depression but not manic. A good pdoc, which you deserve and can find, can do this. You are not able to control yourself, so you need some assistance. Your parent (as ATM) and your pdoc will help you do this.

Go spend some serious money on good sessions with a new pdoc, and get serious before money problems make your life a hell. I've seen it happen to people who aren't even bipolar. Seeing a tdoc may be a good idea, too. The dynamic with you and your mom, not to mention you and money and your illness, cannot be good. Get help.

I wish you tons of luck and I know you can handle this--go do it!

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I think a lot of women get a high out of shopping, not just crazy ones. For me, shopping is a (very) brief retreat into a fantasy world of shiny new things and the endorphin rush of purchasing. The browsing and the buying is the fun part, then you own whatever it is and the excitement and mood boost goes away fast.

I think you know you are doing wrong by manipulating your mom and pdoc. Acknowledging that is a good first step. I've seen you complain about your pdoc before--just dump his ass. He sounds too emotionally involved and unstable to be a good doctor. You kind of sound like you're afraid of him--am I off base? And get a tdoc and purge your secrets, then together you can come up with a plan of action to get your shopping and mania addiction under control.

I don't think you should feel ashamed for living with your parents. It IS possible to be an adult and yet have an economically and emotionally interdependent relationship with your parents, just like in a marriage. I know a couple of people who live with their mom by choice and they are independent (the better term would probably be "interdependent") adults. I think it's great--in fact, I kind of envy them. Living with relatives has some serious advantages. Extended families didn't live together in the past, and now, just for shits n' giggles. But blah blah blah, this is mostly my own soapbox with little relevance to the post. I just wish people would be more accepting of people who don't choose traditional (the new "traditional"--nuclear families, everyone must have a fabulous career, etc.) lifestyles. I guess I am kind of defensive about and supportive of non-cookie cutter "modern" lifestyles because I am economically dependent on my husband, and I don't think I should have to feel ashamed about it. It's not that I don't want a career, just that it may not be feasible for me, because my mental illness and employment don't mix very well. But this doesn't even apply to you, because you don't want to live with your parents...sorry for my tangent.

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Good luck Jade at whatever path you take. I hope you get things straightened out with the mania situation. I'd be upfront and honest with him, as so many posters have stated. Mania is your worst enemy right now, methinks.

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